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In full transparency, the following is a press release submitted to SOURCE media.


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NATICK – SALMON at Natick, a senior living community combining assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing and rehabilitation, has hired one of Governor Baker’s COVID Vaccine Advisors, Dr. Asif Merchant, as their new Medical Director.  

Dr. Merchant joins the SALMON organization from Newton Wellesley Hospital where he works as Chief of Geriatrics and Extended Care Network, and partner of New England Community Medical Services (NECMS).  

Assistant Director of the Assisted Living Program of NECMS, Nurse Practitioner Bethany Vrouhas, MS, AGNP-C, will also be joining the SALMON team. Nurse Practitioner, Laura Bauer will be joining the team at Beaumont Rehabilitation & Skilled nursing Center, and Nurse Practitioner, Svetlana Shimberg will join the team at Whitney Place Assisted Living and Memory Care. 

As Chief of Geriatrics and Extended Care Network, Dr. Merchant oversees occupational therapy for older adults in the Greater Boston area. As partner of NECMS, Dr. Merchant established a collaborative practice of over 50 Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants who provide a wide range of clinical care in Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing in the Greater Boston Area. 

Dr. Merchant completed an Internal Medicine residency at North Shore University, and fellowships at Harvard School of Medicine and Long Island Jewish Medical Center for Medical Education and Geriatric Medicine. Board Certified in Internal Medicine, and Geriatric, Palliative and Hospice Care, Dr. Merchant Chairs the Geriatrics Committee of the Massachusetts Medical Society and serves as Associate Clinical Professor at Tufts School of Medicine. 

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SALMON’s Chief Nursing Officer, Debbie Freedman says, “We are very excited to have Dr. Merchant coming on board to join the clinical team in Natick. His wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry is unparalleled. We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber to provide care for our Residents. We are looking forward to working with him.” 

In September 2020, Dr. Merchant was appointed to Governor Baker’s COVID Vaccine Advisory Group where he advocated for the vaccination of homebound residents to state health officials. Currently, Dr. Merchant serves on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH) ‘Reopening of Nursing Home in MA’ Task Force. With his expertise, he has contributed to several news publications like CNN and MSNBC. Now, he’ll be contributing that knowledge and expertise to SALMON of Natick. 

Chief Future Officer, Andrew Salmon shared, “Dr. Merchant brings an incredible level of expertise, and I am personally excited to welcome him to our Natick campus. We are confident that his contributions will help us continue providing high quality senior living and healthcare communities to families across New England.” 


SALMON Health and Retirement is a trusted leader in the operation of senior living communities. Founded as a skilled nursing center in 1952 by Dan and Helen Salmon, today, the third generation of the Salmon family runs the region’s only complete care continuum—from active living to hospice care, and everything in between. To learn more, please visit

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.